Inside > Outside

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After a lot of thinking, which was probably sparked by the hours of Grey’s Anatomy I’ve been watching on Netflix lately, I have been wondering how an average college students’ lifestyle affects the body. This time, though, I am not going to blog on the basic “freshman 15” or the lack of exercise students typically get. Rather, I want to focus on one thing: inside the human body.

Of course all organs are vital and should be taken care of regularly.  However, as college students, we don’t quite think about how our lifestyle affects our liver, heart, intestines, etc.  Instead, we tend to care much more about the quick and easy components such as: What will make us fat? How do we stay up all night?  What is the best hangover cure? But what if we all actually started caring about our organs, the inside of our bodies that people can’t see, rather than always worrying about the parts that people can see?

First, let’s talk about the liver. We all know that the more we drink, the more it affects our liver. However, a night out on the town doesn’t just stop us from eating healthy, working out the next day, or feeling at our best.  It also can lead to many forms of cancer, most commonly of the liver.

Studies have found that about 60.2% of college students drink heavily compared to 51.9% of individuals around the same age that are not in college. The long-term effects of drinking lead to an increased chance of liver disease, which may eventually lead to liver cancer. No one ever really understands what that means until they know the symptoms, which include weakness and fatigue, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and yellow discoloration of the skin (jaundice). Think twice when you are looking for a night of fun. Does alcohol have to be involved?

Up next, the intestines. This also leads to discussion of the bowel. I should start first by establishing the fact that EVERYONE POOPS. Okay, now that you understand that, as a college student, or at any point in your life really, you need to make sure you are consuming the correct foods that your bowel and intestines will appreciate. Did you know that cheese constipates the normal digestive system and that spicy foods disturb it? If you like spicy foods, though, you may already know that well from first-hand experience. In college, hot wings and pizza are staples in our diets; foods that are full of intestine blocking and irritating ingredients.

Making sure you eat the right foods to keep your inner-self happy and clean is important. A lot people are full of sh*t, but no one wants to literally be FULL of sh*t. The best foods to keep your digestive system happy and your intestines and bowels clean are: fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.  These are full of fiber, which in short, helps you poop and keeps you clean.  You may also want to try replacing unhealthy oils by cooking with olive oil.

Lastly, the heart: The most important organ in the human body. Without your heart, you have no life. One of the best ways to keep your heart healthy is to exercise. Not just once in a blue moon, but regularly. Habits are formed best when we are young, so by forming the habit to exercise 3-4 days a week now, it will be easier to make it an important aspect of life in the future. Another way to keep the heart healthy as a college student is to avoid the greasy foods because they are high in calories and saturated fat. Eating these types of foods can lead to a blockage of blood flow to the heart, which can then lead to a heart attack.

So yes, you are always being told to eat healthy because it genuinely keeps you healthy. Now you know that not eating healthy can lead to serious long-term heart issues, and without the heart, we can’t survive.

Hopefully this topic was a little more interesting than the basic “eat healthy and exercise” topics usually forced upon you as a college student. Your organs are important. If you are someone that can eat whatever they want and it doesn’t affect you externally so you don’t think it affects you at all, think again.

Your liver, intestines, heart, and every other organ in your body are important.  Unless you start forming healthy habits now, it will be harder later in life, and could even be too late. The time is now, so READY, SET, GO!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going.”

~Kenzi Weidman

Sources: Alcohol Facts and StatisticsLiver DiseaseConstipationSix Healthy Tips for College Students7 Foods for a Healthy Heart